HEALTH WARNING! Air pollution can lead to Type 2 diabetes – check how to prevent | Health News


Air pollution is a leading cause of insulin resistance and the incidence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The association between air pollution and diabetes is stronger for traffic-associated pollutants, gaseous, nitrogen dioxide, tobacco smoke and particulate matter. Exposure to air pollutants is significantly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is suggested that environmental protection officials must take high priority steps to minimize air pollution, hence decreasing the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Air pollution: A leading cause of diabetes

Long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution may diminish insulin-dependent glucose uptake, leading to insulin resistance, and impair β-cell function, resulting in reduced insulin secretion and promoting subcutaneous fat accumulation. Most of the studies which were carried out to determine the association of diabetes with air pollution have been on the pollutant emissions from cars, trucks and diesel exhaust.

A diet which contains fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps to improve blood sugar levels and lipids. People with diabetes should consume certain fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and trout, which are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. For those who are vegetarian, a good option would be plant-based sources such as kelp and spirulina. Ashok Jhingan, senior director, BLK Max, suggested some remedies and precautionary measures in controlling blood sugar levels in our bodies. He says, “Fruits which have high levels of antioxidants and fiber such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries help to regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics. Chia seeds are incredibly high in fibre, which helps in maintaining glycaemic control in diabetes. It reduces the rate at which the food is absorbed into the body.”

Air pollution: What impacts our health and how

1) Burning of fossil fuels: Inhaling air induced with pollutants due to the burning of natural gas and fossil fuel reduces the heart’s ability to pump enough oxygen causing one to suffer from respiratory illness.

2) Industrial Pollution: Industrial pollution effects associated with your health can range from irritation in your eyes and throat to breathing issues, which at times can even lead to chronic illness

3) Open burning of garbage waste: Exposure to open burning of garbage waste can pose serious health risks including cancer, liver issues, impairment of the immune system, and reproductive functions; can also affect the developing nervous system.

4) Agricultural Activity: Used, pesticides and fertilizers are mixed with new invasive species which are not found in nature, for quick growth of the crops and vegetation. Once they are sprayed over, the smell and the effect of the pesticides are left in the air. Some mix with water and some seeps into the ground which not only destroys the crops but also causes numerous health-related issues.

Steps to minimize air pollution

We can prevent air pollution by taking certain measures of air pollution. Air pollution can be reduced only if there is a collective effort from everyone’s side. Some measures are:

– Usage of filters in chimneys
– Avoid fireworks
– Reducing the use of chemicals
– Plant more trees
– Avoid burning plastics
– Recycle and reuse products


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